Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Record snows, now this?

After record snows, a record start to April

Record snows, now this?


Exactly two months ago, the region was between snowstorms that left unprecendented amounts of snow in such a short period -- almost four feet in six days.

This afternoon, the official Philadelphia temperature has hit 89, just a degree shy of the all-time record, set back in 1929. Today, Philadelphia is one of the warmest places in the nation.

While Feb. 7, 2010, and April 7, 2010, may bear no similarities, the winter and spring do share a weather bond of sorts, according to Bruce Terry, a meteorologist with the government's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, outside Washington.

As it was in the winter, the atmospheric pattern remains a "high amplitude" one, he said. In other words, one that is ideal for extremes.

In winter, it promoted extreme snows in the Mid-atlantic, and this time around it's extreme warmth all the way from Washington, D.C., to the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Yesterday's high in Philadelphia, 87, tied the record for the date. Today, it maxed out at 89.1 at 3 p.m. and was back down to 87 at 5.

And that air out there has been bone dry. The relative humidity at 3 was a very un-Philadelphia-like 20 percent -- about what it was at Grand Canyon, Ariz.

The dry air plus brisk southwest winds moved the National Weather Service to post a "red flag" alert for fire danger. The weather service warned that any brush fire could spread in a hurry under these conditions.

Although the early April heat spell in 1929 arguably was more impressive, this is going to end up being the warmest first week in April ever in Philadelphia.

The average April 1-7 temperature is going to be about 65 degrees. Even though the temperature reached 87, 90 and 90 on three consecutive days in 1929, the seven-day average that year was 61.3.





Inquirer Weather Columnist
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About this blog

Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

Reach Tony at twood@phillynews.com.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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